"Who do you want be?"
I hear this question asked in many different contexts. Quite honestly, I never fully understood it. I didn't believe that I had that much control over who I could be. Sounds crazy right! A pastor writing himself off? Yep, we have our doubts too. The great thing is we are only truth dealers not truth creators. Jesus does that.
Yet, here is what gets in the way of me believing the truth about me becoming who I want to be:
1) The present expectations of people. Growing up around the church there was an unspoken pressure to be a certain way, which wasn't always Godly and authentic. This pressure isn't limited to the church, though. In all environments, there is a pressure to be a certain way. As a young child, I just assumed the pressure to find a role or fit in was a school adolescent thing, but it's not. There are subcultures and expectations in the environments we work in, live in and play in.
2) The conditioning environments we grow up in. This point isn't meant to blame my childhood for my faults and not being who I want to be. This point is logical. When you see and engage in the behaviors of those you spend the most time with, it leads to you believing that is just who you are. In the midst of these consistent behaviors you tend to take on a labels or roles based on your differences to that environment.
3) Sin. Any sin past, present and future can surely make you believe you are living a life beyond your ability to manage. When you do things you never thought you would do, it leads you to believe you are not in control.
4) Shame. Along with sin, comes shame. Shame can lead you to believe there is no hope. No one, not even God could see you differently. That is a lie.
There are more things that seem to discredit the idea that you can be anything you want to be. You might feel stuck like me. You may think that who you have been just makes sense, whether you like it or not. Thoughts like your poor consistent decisions rule you out of becoming all that you want to be.
I once heard a friend and mentor in a tough situation that I was involved in ask the question, What if!? When I heard this question it led me to believe any thing is possible. In order to get out of the mindset you can't change, you need to hang with people that believe you can. You need a Jesus that says you can and gives you the power to do so.
If you feel stuck and don't believe you could possibly become better, here are a few "what if" questions Jesus presents when you hang with Him.
- What if your past doesn't dictate your future?
- What if you are a new creation?
- What if doesn't matter who others think you should be?
- What if, with a little time and help, you can become the person you have always wanted to be?
- What if____________(you fill in the blank).
In the Old Testament (Exodus 3) God called Moses to be someone who saved His people from the most powerful nation. Moses had all sorts of doubt but God reminded Him that, "I am" was with Him. All things are possible with God. The blind can see, the lame can walk, the addict can be set free, the insecure can lead, and the "what if's" can come true.
See you Sunday at Cross Culture Church a place where anything is possible with people that believe in you.